Ramraiders repeatedly rammed a Christchurch jewelery store, smashing windows and causing tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage before the car crashed into the front of the store.
Frustrated at having to flee empty-handed, but unfazed, they instead break into a vape shop next door, stealing items before making their escape.
The attack on Westende Jewelers on Colombo St in Sydenham was one of two raids in the town early on Monday, the latest in a series of similar incidents that business owners are calling an “epidemic”.
A Harvey Norman appliance store in Northwood was also attacked and police are investigating whether the two attacks are linked.
* Ramraiders on the run after jamming vehicle into jewelery shop as two more Christchurch businesses attacked
* The bar has been robbed for the sixth time since Christmas among five businesses attacked in a night out across Christchurch
* Jewelery taken in smash and grab at Christchurch store
CCTV footage shared with things from the first raid on Colombo St, which happened at around 4.30am, shows a car reversing into the shop, completely cracking the bars of the roller shutters and destroying the jewelery shop’s entrance in the second attempt.
The driver can be seen trying to rip the grille blinds off the window before a second man tries to force his way into the shop by hitting the window with what appears to be a hammer after the car becomes stuck.
The offenders fled after smoke from fog guns filled the area, but they didn’t get far, smashing a window and robbing the Cosmic Vape Shop next door.
Jewelery store owner Andrew Kelso said that although no goods were stolen, the attack would cost “tens of thousands of dollars” in damage to the building.
“It’s certainly a fear and a concern and something you’d rather not have, but unfortunately in this day and age it kind of comes with the territory,” he said.
“It’s worrying for me myself and [I’m] obviously I’m worried about the staff … I wouldn’t say I feel insecure, but we’ve certainly put a lot on [protective] measures in the shop.’
Unable to line their pockets at the jewelry store, the group ransacked the cash registers and stole money and vape products from the neighboring Cosmic – Vape Store.
Store manager Josh Day said the windows on the outside and inside of the storefronts needed to be replaced.
“It’s getting worse and worse almost every day. We have stores up north that this has happened to as well, and we were thinking about opening more stores here and there, but I think there was a bit of second-guessing,” Day said.
The second attack in the town took place shortly afterwards, at around 4.55am.
Police were called to the Harvey Norman appliance store in the Northwood Supa Centa on Radcliffe Rd after reports of a vehicle being used for a break-in.
Police confirmed the items were stolen and the offenders fled again in a second getaway car.
“Police are continuing to investigate both burglaries, including whether the incidents are linked,” the spokesman said.
Business owners have spoken of their fear of an “epidemic” of break-ins, with a spate of similar incidents taking place in the city in recent weeks and over the past year.
Just last Monday, five Canterbury businesses were attacked before 5.30am.
Officers are also investigating a theft from a business that took place late Sunday night.
A property on Cranford St was robbed at around 10pm but police said it was not an assault.
Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to contact police on 105 quoting incident number P054489750.